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Help in dealing with staffs premature birth(8 Posts)
This may seem trivial compared with other discussions in this topic but I'd like some advice. The fiance of one of my staff gave birth prematurely earlier this week (3 months early) to a little girl. She is 1lb 14oz! The couple have been absolutely overjoyed and excited since becoming pregnant.
Although the baby is alive obviously things are touch and go.
I want to make sure I give him all the support he and his fiance need.
Any advice on what I can do (as a manager) and others in the team, can do to support him other than time off? As you can appreciate, he has a difficult time ahead!
can any of you knit?
little teeny hats are imprtant i think for v prem babies to help them keep warm.
and lots of time off will be needed.
so so tiny. wishing them well and the baby lots of strength. its going to be a rollercoaster, notsoemthing i would want anyone to go through.
Congrats to your friend. I gave birth at 6m too.
I think MIsdee has said the main thing. It is a rollercoaster ride. The most important thing is that your friend has the support he needs to allow him to get through the next few months and help his fiance through too.
From a practicle POV he will need to know what freedom he communicate with the hospital and fiance as required. There will be good days when his DF will want to ring him and let him know the positives. There will be days when his DF/hosp will ring him and let him know the setbacks. When there are setbacks he will feel better if he feels he has freedom to take 10mins out and ring hosp for updates. Maybe find out what there routine will be for visiting. Would there be any option of allowing him to finish a bit earlier (and make up time elsewhere) to avoid rush hour and get to visit etc?
Where I work there is a tradition for sending a card & collection round the office when a baby is born. I specifically asked for them not to do this after the birth as things were touch and go (I don't think they would anyway). I did, however, get a big bouquet of flowers delivered to acknowledge the birth and that they were all thinking of us. A bigger collection & proper gifts were arranged when DTDs were discharged from hosp.
Oh and I think it goes without saying that he may want to leave at a moments notice & want to keep his mobile on in meetings etc...
You don't say what the work is. Is any of it time critical? If it is maybe you could discuss reassigning anything with tight timelines in the near future. If he gets called to hosp regularly he may not be able to meet deadlines.
Is there any travelling involved? Maybe he will want to stay closer to home for a couple of months. Are there any late meetings which can be reschuduled. Caring for a baby in NICU is exhausting. I was visiting every morning, and we both visited in the evening as soon as DP got home from work. It was gone 8pm every day before he actually got home and got something to eat.
Things do get easier as the weeks pass and baby is more stable etc.
We found that the NNU actually had lots of clothes for tiny babies. The hats they used were adapted so that they could attatch the ventilator to them. I am not sure whether they adapted normal hats after they had been made or adapted the pattern during the making IYSWIM. If you want to make hats it might be worth checking. The BLiss website may have info or a pattern.
There is a baby clothes range called Tiny Dee and is used from 1.5lb upwards. They are lovely and are adapted to use for prem babies for all their tubes. To be honest the very prem babies do not tend to use clothes that much whilst in the incubator as they have the lamps on all the time....but it would be nice to get a little outfit...you can buy matching hats, booties and mitts...from the same range.
Then when the baby gets a little bigger and more stable they start wearing more clothes as they progress.. again there is another range of clothing for this stage.
Mothercare also do a range but over 3lb..
I think SlightlyMadScientist said lots of excellent things about provisions for your employee whilst the baby is at the hospital.
I have thought of something if you do want to get a gift (or a tip to pass on if you don't).
A disposable/cheap camera to keep at hosp. It saves having to carry an expensive camera everywhere and risk loosing (which I did, fortunately I got it back) - yet they will always have a camera at the ready should they need/want one.
My personal opinion on the clothes was that we were happy to use the hospitals clothes, as the tiny ones cost an absolute fortune. And as has already been pointed out there are times when they preferred to have the babies naked for various reasons. We also felt we (and others) would rather save our money for when we had to buy clothes when they came home. Like I said tho that is my personal opinion and others may prefer to have their own clothes...
Thanks all for your responses. I have spoken to my team and we have simply sent a card congratulating mum and dad, wishing them all the best and to let them know that our thoughts are with them and the baby.
Little Amelia is doing well and is 2 weeks old now. She's starting to breath on her own and starting to take mums milk and is relying less on a drip.
I have been in a similar situation as a manager, it is tricky as obviously paternity leave entitlement is very limited, but try to let him take as much time as you can. I was able to be very flexible about his time off, thansk to compassionate Mums in the senior management team! I got the rest of the team together and re-allocated a lot of work. To be honest I worked on the principle that he was not going to be a lot of use to me at work anyway! Did cause problems later on though as set a precident. When another staff member lost her mother she kept bringing up "xx had so much tyime off..." which was tricky
Good luck and hope all is well with your coleague